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MAO College security | Campus violence

MAO College campus security reviewed
Lahore, April 30, 2008: The administration of MAO College has decided not to allow anybody to enter the college without proper identification at the gate. The administration also decided, at a meeting held on campus on Tuesday, that the students would also have to present their college ID cards at the gate before being allowed to enter, a teacher said. The teacher said that the college would reopen on Thursday. The college was closed after Monday's incident in which two factions of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) fired in the air for half an hour while shouting slogans against each other. The meeting, chaired by MAO College acting principal Prof Muhammad Khan, reviewed the on-campus security situation and decided not to allow anyone in the college without proper identification. Prof Khan told the meeting that a police contingent would be deployed at the college till the situation returned to normal. A police contingent was also deployed inside and outside the college on Tuesday. Meanwhile, dozens of MAO College students protested against the acting principal, accusing him of involvement in Monday's event. Dawn

40 'outsiders' booked for vandalism in MAO College
Lahore: The Islampura police Tuesday registered a case against 40 youths for disrupting peace in the premises of the MAO College.

Complainant Shahid Iqbal, an MA Urdu student and a resident of Darbar Bibi Pakdaman, Garhi Shahu, told the police that around armed 40 outsiders, patronised by Tanveer Khan Khakwani, forced their entry into the college and started chanting slogans.

He said the outsiders, including Hamayun Butt of Sanat Nagar, Hamad Chaudhry, Sikandar Chaudhry, Shaheen Ali Khan, Waqas Cheema, Shafqat Chohan, Imran Gujjar, Imran Khan, Afzal, Ahsan Shah, Asghar Ameen, Hammad Butt, Shafaqat, Rana Junaid, Noshaeel Gull, Imran Bashir, Mudassar and Rana Ibrahim, held the college students, including those who were present there to take BA/BSc exams, hostage at gunpoint.

"Later, they opened indiscriminate fire in the air, however, the administration managed to rescue the hostages," he alleged. The complainant said that the college students wanted to stage a protest demonstration against the desecration of religious scripts. He said the outsiders, allegedly instigated by Acting Principal Muhammad Khan, of displaying vandalism, adding that the outsiders snatched mobile phones and handbags from the students. When contacted, police official Fiaz told the scribe the police had arrested six accused so far.

Campus violence
Lahore: The mayhem seen at Lahore's MAO College on April 28, as rival groups clashed for control of the campus, is a reminder of the ugly face of student politics seen in the 1980s, just before the ban on student unions was imposed. The violence began as armed goons entered the college, began aerial firing and apparently clashed with rival outfits. Student leaders have said that those engaged in the fighting were not students, but gangs linked to city politicians who broke into college premises. PML-N leaders are reported to have been backing the armed men. As a result of the firing and the setting alight of tyres, examinations being held at the college have been postponed and the campus shut down for two days. In the aftermath of the terrible scenes, the government's otherwise good decision to restore student unions has come in for some inevitable flak.

The scenes witnessed at one of Lahore's oldest centres of higher learning is, however, a consequence of the suppression of student political activity for over two decades, rather than a result of attempts to revive it. During these years, student groups -- apart from the Islam Jamiaat-e-Tulaba which controls many campuses -- have been prevented from developing as organizations and providing a forum for students to give vent to their feelings. As a result of the vacuum created by the restrictions on legitimate student groups, other elements have attempted to gain control of institutions. The only way to check this trend is to allow student bodies to grow, flourish and evolve and develop the maturity required to engage in interactions that are not violent. Since this process could take time, political parties must show responsibility and reign in thuggish leaders who seek to take control with guns. The PML-N leadership must investigate what happened on Monday and take action against anyone from the party involved in it, so that such scenes are not repeated at college campuses. The News
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